Below are common fees charged by most credit card processors. At Helcim, we're proud that we don't charge any of the fees that are listed below.
Look for Non-Qualified Discount Fees
Many payment processors lure merchants in by advertising a low 'qualified' rate. However, these processors then charge a number of additional 'non-qualified' fees that are in additional to the standard pricing. While merchants think they will be processing with the low qualified rate, the credit cards they actually end up processing fall into higher 'non-qualified' rates, which can add up to significant unexpected monthly fees.
Understand Interchange Differential Fees
The differential fee is part of the Interchange Differential pricing method used by many payment processors. You will pay the "non-qualified rate", and then these processors will also charge you for the cost difference between a consumer card and any non-qualified cards you are processing.
In addition to the non-qualified rate, you also pay an interchange differential fee. This means you are paying two penalties for the same "non-qualified" card transaction. The credit card processor is double dipping which makes interchange differential pricing quite expensive and can quickly add up every month.
Monthly Minimums for Low Volume Processors
When you are comparing credit card processors, one fee to watch for is the 'monthly minimum' that many processors charge, in addition to their standard monthly fees. The 'monthly minimum' is dependent on the total fees you generate from your Visa and MasterCard transactions. If you don't process enough payments, you will still pay the monthly minimum, regardless of how much you are selling. The monthly minimum is a payment processor charge; some processors like to blame it on Visa or MasterCard, but these fees don't have anything to do with card brands. They are directly pocketed by the payment processor.
Statement Fees & Admin Fees
Another common payment processor fee is the additional 'statement fees' or 'admin fees' on top of your standard monthly payment rates and fees. Not all processors charge these fees, but many do.
Quarterly Fees & PCI Fees
Many processors have recently started charging quarterly fees or monthly PCI fees. Unlike these processors, at Helcim we build PCI fees and assessment services into your monthly fee. This is part of our commitment to transparent payment processing.
Initial Setup Fees & Application Fees
Most processors will have a setup fee for your merchant account. Some will even charge a separate 'application fee', which is non-refundable even if your merchant account application is declined. That means you pay even if you aren't able to start accepting payments.
Early-Termination, Contract Closure & Leasing Fees
Almost all processors have a three to five-year payment processing contract. The contract cancelation fees range from between $250 and $5,000 or even more. If you sign an equipment lease agreement, you can also face large equipment buyout rates if you want to change processors.